Week 15 of Your Pregnancy

A look at your body, your baby, and more

week 15 pregnancy highlights


Welcome to week 15 of your pregnancy. This, your second trimester, is often an exciting time for parents-to-be when bellies pop, news spreads, energy levels rise, and nausea subsides. 

Your Trimester: Second trimester

Weeks to Go: 25

Verywell Checklist

  • Continue taking prenatal vitamins.
  • Continue drinking about eight to 12 glasses of water a day.
  • Talk with your healthcare provider about any nutrition or diet tweaks that may be needed this trimester.

Symptoms This Week

This week may be when you start to feel notable weight changes. While every mom-to-be is different, women typically gain 3 to 5 pounds during the first trimester and about a pound each week thereafter. (If you’ve gained significantly more or significantly less, it’s worth talking to your healthcare provider about it.)

Changes in your shape, however, may or may not be noticeable to those around you. But if you press gently about 4 to 5 inches under your belly button, you likely be able to feel the top of your uterus.

Right now, most of the changes you’re experiencing are still unseen, like headaches, indigestion, and heartburn. Hormones, as per usual, are to blame.

For instance, hormones can cause the muscular valve between your stomach and esophagus to relax, which then allows stomach acid to shoot back into the esophagus, causing reflux. Adding to the burn: Your growing uterus can crowd the abdomen, which pushes acids upward.

Hormones can also induce inflammation in the body right about now, leading to bleeding gums and broken blood vessels in the nose. These sometimes catch moms-to-be off-guard, but they are perfectly normal.

Your Baby's Development

By week’s end, your baby-to-be will be 4¾ inches long and weigh 2 ounces, well on his or her way to looking more like the little person you’ll meet in 25 weeks. His or her eyes are inching closer toward the nose. Your baby may have started to develop a defined hairline and eyebrows.

The external part of baby’s ears is steadily evolving to be more recognizable. The small bones that make up the auditory system are starting to form as well. So, while he or she can’t hear quite yet, it’ll happen soon.

At the same time, baby’s skin is still very thin and translucent, allowing a clear view of his or her blood vessels and skeleton. Before now, baby’s skeleton was made of soft, flexible cartilage, like what’s found in your nose and ears. But during this and upcoming weeks, bones will begin to ossify, or harden, and become recognizable on X-ray.

Self-Care Tips

The Institute of Medicine recommends that women who get pregnant at a healthy weight gain 25 to 35 pounds total during pregnancy. However, underweight women should shoot for 28 to 40 pounds of weight gain; overweight women, 15 to 25 pounds; and obese women, 11 to 20 pounds total.

If you or your healthcare provider are concerned about missing these windows—by more or less—this is the time to make some changes to help that along. Research notes that the second trimester is a crucial period for weight gain/loss interventions.

Why it matters: According to 2015 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women who gain too much weight can put themselves at an elevated risk for high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.

That said, know that “ultimately, if you follow a healthy diet, your body will gain exactly what it needs,” says Allison Hill, M.D., an OB-GYN in private practice in Los Angeles, California. “The week-to-week numbers are not as important as the overall total and the growth of the baby.”

A Word From Allison Hill, M.D., OB-GYN

“Ultimately, if you follow a healthy diet, your body will gain exactly what it needs.”

At Your Doctor’s Office

If you’ve decided to get an amniocentesis, this is likely the first week of your pregnancy that it can be effectively performed. (It’s most often done between week 15 and week 18.)

During the procedure, which takes about 30 minutes, your healthcare provider will use an ultrasound to guide a thin, hollow needle through your abdomen and uterus and into the amniotic sac. Here, a small sample of amniotic fluid containing fetal cells will be removed. The sample will then be sent to a lab to screen for chromosomal abnormalities.

It can take a few days to a few weeks to receive results. It important to know that the abnormalities that an amnio can detect cannot be changed. However, the test allows parents-to-be the opportunity to get a head start on educating themselves about their baby’s condition.

Upcoming Doctor’s Visits

The next time you see your healthcare provider, he or she will likely be armed with a measuring tape to record your fundus, or fundal height. That’s the distance between the top of your pubic bone and the top of your uterus.

This is simply a tool to help your practitioner gauge fetal growth. Fun fact: After 20 weeks, your fundal height often matches the number of weeks you've been pregnant. 

Advice for Partners

Your support may mean more than you (or even she) realizes. A 2016 study of 2,641 pregnant women found that those who received little support from their partners were almost twice as likely to have high pregnancy-related anxiety compared to women who had enough support. They were also three times more likely to be depressed mid-pregnancy than those who felt a high-level of support from their partners.

The researchers noted that support comes in many forms, like being able to count on a partner for financial assistance; experiencing affection; and feeling as though a partner will be helpful when the baby comes. Take cues from your partner as to the best ways to show you’re there for her, or simply ask. And remember: Doing the best you can is all you can ask of yourself.

A Tip From Verywell

Support for your partner can exist in many forms, including financial assistance, providing affection, and showing that you will be supportive when the baby arrives.

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Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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